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Belknap lawmakers divide along party lines on taxing non-profits vote

CONCORD — The Belknap County Delegation divided strictly along long party lines when the New Hampshire House of Representatives last week rejected legislation to levy the Business Enterprise Tax on some non-profit organizations, including most hospitals, and lower the rate of the tax.

The House voted to kill the bill by just ten votes, 173 to 163.

Twelve of the 13 Republican members from the county voted in favor of the proposal — Reps. Richard Burchell of Gilmanton, Guy Comtois of Barnstead, Jane Cormier and Stephen Holmes of Alton, Dennis Fields of Sanbornton, Bob Greemore, Herb Vadney and Colette Worsman of Meredith, Bob Luther and Frank Tilton of Laconia, and Charles Fink and Michael Sylvia of Belmont. Rep. Don Flanders of Laconia was absent and did not vote.

The five Democrats on the delegation — Reps. Beth Arsenault and Daviud Huot of Laconia, Lisa DiMartino of Gilford, Ruth Gulick of New Hampton and Ian Raymond of Sanbornton — voted with the majority to kill the bill.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 01:22

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Grand jury returns indictment against alleged bank robber

LACONIA — A Belknap County grand jury has indicted the man who allegedly robbed the main branch of Bank of New Hampshire at gunpoint on January 3.
Jonathan Ellinger, 43, whose was a transient, was caught by police three-and-a-half hours after allegedly robbing Pleasant Street bank on a Friday at 3:24 p.m. of an undisclosed amount of cash.
Ellinger allegedly approached a teller and demanded money and then fled on foot. A surveillance camera released to the media pictured him leaving through the doorway off Pleasant Street.
Police did not specify what kind of weapon he was carrying or claimed to be carrying.
The bank was closed immediately after the incident as detectives and officers, with the assistance of Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin, mounted an investigation and search for Ellinger who was arrested by 7 p.m. that same night.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt or innocence. It is a statement by an independent grand jury that the state has presented enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 01:19

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Bulldogs no match for Souhegan in hockey semi-finals

CONCORD — Souhegan's game plan was to keep the puck in the Bulldogs zone and let them commit penalties. The Sabers last night executed their game plan flawlessly, beating Belmont-Gilford 7-1 in the NHIAA Division III semi-finals.

"We were clearly the underdog tonight," said Bulldogs coach Jay Londer after the hockey game. "They are loaded and just keep coming at you."

The Sabers quickly went up three goals before 10 minutes had expired in the first period. The first two goals were similar. They came on the power play with traffic in front of the net. Both goals came of of a rebound collected on the right side of B/G goalie Calvin Davis (33 saves) and flipped over his right shoulder.

The Bulldogs lone goal came late in the first period on a pass that was intercepted in the nuteral zone by Andrew D'Amour. The center skated in the offensive zone alone dancing around both defensemen and beating the Sabers' goalie between the legs.

The Bulldogs had only 10 shots on the evening. Belmont-Gilford ended the regular season 15-3 and the third seed in the postseason. The Bulldogs beat Kennett at home last Saturday for the first home playoff win. B/G will lose four seniors from this semi-final team. They will be bringing in six freshman for the 2014-15 season.

Last Updated on Friday, 14 March 2014 01:17

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Inter-Lakes School Board renews commitment to traffic control officer

MEREDITH — The School Board reaffirmed its commitment to having a police officer directing traffic at the Inter-Lakes School District campus in the morning and in the afternoon.

The consensus came after a citizen wrote a letter to the board saying that a police officer directing traffic slows the flow of into and out of the school grounds as well as on Route 3 near the school.

The writer said that often times westbound traffic gets backed up beyond Barnard Ridge Road.

Board members said the duty police officer is there primarily for safety.

"The key word is safety," said Chair Richard Hanson who noted that it's not how fast someone can drive at or near the school but whether or not the students and buses can safely enter and exit the campus.

Sgt. Michael Harper said making a left hand turn from the campus onto Route 3 can be especially tricky and can be made even more so by younger and inexperienced drivers who come and go from the high school.

In his opinion, he said having a police officer at the intersection during the busiest times of day has improved safety even though it has slowed traffic through the area.

"For what we gain in safety we'll gladly cede what we had in time," he said.

He said the school district pays for the special detail that takes about 45 minutes in the morning and about the same in the afternoon.

School Board Chair Richard Hanson said as a board they are likely to favor continuing with the traffic officer.

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 12:54

Hits: 171

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